Editors’ Introductory Commentary

by Jerome Wilczynski &  Marjorie Witty

We want to highlight the upcoming Annual Conference of the Association for the Development of the Person-Centered Approach (ADPCA). It will be held on the campus of Kutztown University in Kutztown, Pennsylvania from July 24-28, 2019. See the ADPCA website for registration information. A brochure will be mailed to the ADPCA members.

The first issue within this double issue of the Person-Centered Journal. (PCJ) provides readers with three different articles. The article by Jerome Wilczynski, “Commonalities Between Client-Centered Therapy and How God’s Grace Works: Finding a Path Toward Client-Centered Christian Spiritual Counseling,” delineates the similarities between how the change process is conceived in client-centered theory and therapy and how God’s grace works, as well as how transformative change happens from a spiritual perspective. Given these similarities, the author contends that Christian spiritual counseling should proceed in the same manner as client-centered therapy. Doing so allows the relationship between counselor and client to mirror the divine–human relationship.

The article by Susan Pildes and Kathryn Moon, ““I Didn’t Know You Felt That Way”: The Practice of Client-Centered Couple and Family Therapy,” describes how the authors work when seeing couples and families in therapy. While the non-directive attitude guides their interaction, just as it does when they work with individuals, the way they express empathic understanding changes. When working with couples and families, the authors are more explicit with providing their thought process when relating their empathic understanding; this is done to lessen the possibility of misunderstandings. The authors contend the possibility for misunderstanding increases among those present when there is more than one client in the consulting room.

The last article in this issue, “Real Human Connection: There is no app for that!,” is by David Myers and Jessica Miller. They explore the paradoxical problem of how college students are less personally engaged with others even though they live in a “connected” world  vis-à-vis a myriad of social media outlets today. The authors explore how college personnel from instructors, to resident-hall advisors and administrators may adapt client-centered theoretical principles outside the counseling situation to assist students in feeling connected.